It's that time of the year again when the Nedbank Cup rolls into town, with the 16 Premier Soccer League teams coming into the fray for the round of 32, which kicks off this weekend.
In 2012 it was SuperSport United who were the last ones standing after seeing off Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the competition's climax at Orlando Stadium, and this weekend we get to do it all over again as another piece of silverware becomes available in South Africa.
Beaten finalists the Brazilians kick-off the round with a trip to Ajax Cape Town in one of four all-PSL ties, and with the form Pitso Mosimane's men currently find themselves in, coupled with the Urban Warriors' woeful campaign, it should prove a safe bet for the Chloorkop club to progress to the next stage.
Mosimane took over the Sundowns reins some seven matches ago, and has since led the side to three wins and four draws to hoist them out of the relegation zone and up to ninth.
The Mother City outfit, meanwhile, are headed in the other direction, with one win in seven having left them outside of the relegation zone only on goal difference.
My prediction: Ajax Cape Town 0-2 Mamelodi Sundowns
Moving on to Saturday's matches and things really start hotting up, with the headline encounter coming between Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs at the Mbombela Stadium.
Amakhosi are unbeaten in their last seven Premiership matches, while they have also begun 2013 with two wins and a draw to lead bitter rivals Orlando Pirates by two points at the summit.
They do, however, face a Students side more than capable of earning a result, with newly instated coach Clive Barker having led the side up to seventh in the league standings following two wins and a defeat so far this year.
My prediction: Bidvest Wits 2-2 Kaizer Chiefs. Wits to win on penalties.
Defending champions SuperSport also come into the competition on Saturday, and they too take on PSL opposition in the form of Moroka Swallows at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
It's been a topsy-turvy campaign for Matsatsantsa, whose goalless draw against AmaZulu on Wednesday marked the side's 12th stalemate this term, leaving them neither here nor there in the league standings, six points above the relegation zone and a whopping 19 points off the top.
The Nedbank Cup, though, proves the perfect stage for the Pretoria giants to realign their ambitions, and with Gavin Hunt's men coming up against a Swallows side languishing just two points above the bottom-two, a successful start to their title defence could very well be on the cards.
My prediction: SuperSport United 1-0 Moroka Swallows
Orlando Pirates are almost guaranteed their place in the next round as the three-time champions kick off the tournament against little-known Maluti FET College, and anything but a win for the Buccaneers would surely spell tragedy for a side who have won six trophies in the last two season, and who are currently just two points off the top of the table.
However - and that's a very big however - Maluti will be counting on maybe a bit of exhaustion effecting the Sea Robbers, who recently played out a 5-0 thrashing of FC Djabal in the CAF Champions League last weekend, before having to again play in the league in midweek.
I still wouldn't be running down to the book makers to put a cheeky pony on an upset though, unless you really do consider yourself a gambling soul. In that case, the best of luck to you.
My prediction: Maluti FET College 0-6 Orlando Pirates
What started off as a fairy-tale beginning to life in the South African top-flight has started to look more and more like a nightmare for University of Pretoria, who have only won one of their last 10 league outings, seeing them collapse from their early position near the top of the table to only just in the top-eight.
Steve Barker's side must now look to put those struggles behind them and go for the jugular when they host a seemingly dilapidated Maritzburg United at the Tuks Stadium.
The Team of Choice have seen their early-season title push fall completely to pieces over the last handful of league game, with Ernst Middendorp's side having earned just three wins from their last 11 domestic matches, and although they are fifth in the standings, there are only four points separating themselves and 10th, while the gap at the top is now up to 17 points.
My prediction: University of Pretoria 0-0 Maritzburg United. Tuks to win on penalties.
As for most of the teams near the foot of the PSL table, the Nedbank Cup proves a welcome distraction, and no more so than for Chippa United, who take on familiar foes United FC.
The Chilli Boys are currently in their first-ever season in South Africa's top-flight, but they might soon prove short-lived after finding themselves rock-bottom of the standings after 19 matches.
The Cape Town side might also soon add a cup disappointment to their woes as they face a United side who are sixth in the NFD standings and very much in a battle for a play-off finish this term.
My prediction: United FC 1-1 Chippa United. Chippa to win 2-1 in extra-time.
There's no let up on Sunday either as high-flying Free State Stars welcome Witbank Spurs to the Charles Mopeli Stadium.
Ea Lla Koto have put in some sterling displays this season, with only defeat to the Glamour Boys tarnishing their record in 2013, although their lofty position of fourth in the PSL will leave the squad hugely confident of easing past their National First Division opposition this weekend.
My prediction: Free State Stars 3-1 Witbank Spurs
Next up out of the Premiership hat are Bloemfontein Celtic, who were also blessed with a tie against second-tier opposition in the form of Milano United AFC.
Phunya Sele Sele are huge favourites to progress to the last-16, with the side sitting some 13 league places higher up than Milano, who have also won only one of their last four matches, despite sitting third in the NFD standings.
My prediction: Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 Milano United AFC
Platinum Stars will be looking to bounce back from their midweek PSL defeat to Orlando Pirates when they travel to the Giyane Stadium to face lowly Dynamos.
Dikwena have been the surprise package in this year's Premiership title race, and missed the chance to go clear in second in the standings following their slender 1-0 defeat to Pirates, who took sole ownership of that league placing.
However, the Rustenburg based outfit come up against a Dynamos side drowning in the basement of the second division, having managed just one victory from their opening 12 matches so far this term.
My prediction: Dynamos 0-4 Platinum Stars
The cup action continues over into next week, where Black Leopards will be looking to put aside their uninspiring league form and make a deep run in this tournament, starting against Cape Town All Stars.
Lidoda Duvha are without a point this year, losing all three PSL matches of 2013, going down to Wits, Chippa and Chiefs respectively, but will be hoping to put that behind them when they take on Stars, who are making only their second appearance in the tournament, having made their debut last year.
My prediction: Black Leopards 2-1 Cape Town All Stars
The final match of the round involving a Premier Soccer League side sees AmaZulu welcome Tembu Royals to the King Zwelithini Stadium.
It has so far been a season to forget for Usuthu, who are in the relegation zone and only one point above the basement, although they are so far unbeaten since the season's restart, winning one and drawing two to give their dwindling season a glint of a spark.
The Durban club would love to see that ignite into a flame, and there would be no better way than to put in a competent performance against the side who hail from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.
A spot of pre-match history for you here as well sees this tie mark a clash between two of the oldest clubs in the competition, with AmaZulu having been formed in 1932, while Tembu Royals, who were originally Dlezinye, also came about in the early 1930s.
My prediction: AmaZulu 2-0 Tembu Royals
By Ryan Gordon